SabrinaSabrina (1995)
A Cinderella story – the daughter of a servant eavesdrops on the good life of her father’s employer and dreams of being part of that picture. She matures during a work stint in Paris and returns after a few years so transformed that no one recognizes her. Her father’s employer finally notices her.

This is an upbeat, inspiring, coming-of-age story. The acting is alright.

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A Single Man

A Single ManA Single Man (2009)
A day in the life of a depressed man recovering from the loss of his partner – the day he has decided to commit suicide.

The whole film is an expression of the gentle main character. You can feel the hollow silence he shifts back and forth between memories of his partner and his mundane duties of living. He is a professor living in a beautiful house on the ocean, in southern California in the 60’s. It is interesting to experience the trappings of that era. It is interesting to experience the qualities of his former relationship through the eye of his memories.

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Talk to Her

Talk to HErTalk to Her (2002)
The caregiver of a woman in a coma befriends the spouse of another woman in a coma. The caregiver challenges the spouse to keep talking to his partner even though she can’t respond.

The landscape of this film is stark and spare. The story is revealed in little vignettes, as if being recalled by the main character. Some interesting surprises toward the end. I especially like how much off-scene drama was indicated by on-scene drama.


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The Contender

The ContenderThe Contender (2000)

The President’s efforts to choose a VP replacement are complicated by political spin on each of the favorites.

Jeff Bridges does a great job acting presidential. The president proves himself expert handler of everything political as the drama unfolds. The way the story is told, the viewer gets to experience how little shreds of evidence can be constructed to create a convincing story.

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DefianceDefiance (2008)

A true story about a couple Jewish brothers who rally fellow Jewish refugees in Belarus to fight the advance of German troops in the area.

This is a gritty, personal story of survival in the woods, peppered with all the complications that might arise from asking civilians to risk their lives for the greater good.

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